Energy-benchmarking within companies: Insights from benchmarking practice
Energy benchmarking is a powerful tool for defining energy performance targets and for monitoring improvements in energy efficiency. While external energy benchmarks have intensively been discussed, the use of internal benchmarks within industrial companies has received little attention. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to address internal energy benchmarking and to provide insights on its application in practice. For this purpose, a conceptual framework for systematically structuring energy benchmarking activities is introduced. This framework is then applied to summarize the energy benchmarking practice of three companies from different industrial sectors. The results underline that internal energy benchmarks are used in many different ways within companies. They can be helpful tools to monitor energy performance of sites, processes, technical installations and other equipment, to verify whether energy targets are met and to gain a better understanding on the impact of energy efficiency measures. Yet this is only the case if the energy benchmarks are individually tailored, if they are adapted to their users, if they provide transparent information and if they evolve over time.